Sunday, May 26, 2013

If You Could Ask God One Question?

Tefilla is special time to think and ponder - not just to chant words and verses (sometimes I forget this).  One of the biggest tensions in tefilla is that between form and substance - the rules of what must be said and when against the feelings and thoughts of the heart behind the structure. The Mishna in Brachot cites Rebbe Eliezer teaching, "one who makes his prayer fixed (keva) - his prayer is not a prayer (tahnunim)". The natural structural platform for spontaneous prayer is during the shma koleuni section of the Amidah - we you can add your own requests and ruminations.

But what if you only could as one question?  Chief Rabbi Sacks answers this question arguing that it is the "best question anyone should ask God."  I think this is a great exercise to ask your students - and push each person to focus the essence of their prayers and actions.

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